“Ensoulment” is the word which describes the point at which the body of the conceptus is said to be informed by a human soul. (The notion of a living being having “no soul” is a philosophical oxymoron, since the soul is the principle of life in a material being.) There are two basic theories of […]

The Principle of Totality

September 22, 2007 | 2 Comments

On September 14, 1952, Pope Pius XII gave an address to the First International Congress on the Histopathology of the Nervous System. On that occasion, the Holy Father discussed the Principle of Totality at length and in the contrasting terms spelled out in this question. The principle itself is the general notion that, since parts […]

Sometimes the same act causes both a good result and an evil result at the same time. The question for the moralist is “Should such an act be performed?” The answer is that is can be, but only if four conditions are met: First, the act itself must be good or indifferent. Second, the good […]

The natural law tradition as explicated by Saint Thomas Aquinas is foundational for Catholic medical ethics. Here is a very brief description of the Natural Law theory of Thomas Aquinas as it affects that field of moral theology. Included in the description are (a) the historical antecedents of Natural Law, (b) the remote and proximate […]